40 knots over the transom

The storm I blathered about yesterday didn’t materialize until early this morning, about 4 am. When it did, though, it didn’t waste time. We’re tied securely if inexpertly to a dock in a very protected harbor, so it’s almost impossible that we would experience anything more than minor discomfort. We definitely got that! It was more of a surprise than anything else to suddenly find ourselves pitching around, even just a foot or two. A foot or two isn’t a big wave, really, but it is a pretty fair distance for your house to move.

North Wind

I eventually made up my mind to go out and retie some of our docklines. I thought I could keep us a little closer to the dock and thus reduce the amount of space in which we could agitate. It worked pretty well! My feet got appropriately soaked, and I otherwise stayed pretty dry. We’re generally doing a lot better with the squeaking, pitching, and rolling now. The solution seemed to be to get us closer to the dock. That was also a bit scary, because the dock is this hard immovable object, so my instinct is not to get as close to it as possible. But tied up closer and more securely has given us a more comfortable day, so WHEW!

Perhaps you are wondering: “How could they get wind over the transom? Isn’t that the back of the boat?” You are right to wonder that! Normally, if we were anchored or tied to a mooring, we would swing around to face into the wind. It’s only the fact that we are tied to a dock, with the back of the boat facing toward the only exposed area of the harbor, that makes us so exposed to the elements. Having committed this oversight once, we will probably never do it again. Lesson learned: check where the harbor entrance is, and don’t point the boat away from it!

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